Ars Lyrica Gala

Jazzy Ars Lyrica Roaring Twenties Gala really sings in historic Houston building

Jazzy Ars Lyrica Gala really sings in historic Houston building

Countertenor John Holiday performs during the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Countertenor John Holiday performs at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Ars Lyrica Gala at Esperson Building
The historic Esperson Building was the scene for the Ars Lyrica Roaring Twenties Gala. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Matthew Dirst, Sixto Wagan, John Holiday, Robin Angly, Miles Smith, Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Matthew Dirst, Sixto Wagan, John Holiday, Robin Angly, Miles Smith, Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Vivek and Ishwaria Subbiah at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Drs. Vivek and Ishwaria Subbiah. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Farida Abjani, Liliana Ary and Connie Kwan-Wong at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Farida Abjani, Liliana Ary, Connie Kwan-Wong. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Dr. Diana Collins, Al Gallo, William Reading and Teresa Reading at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Dr. Diana Collins, Al Gallo, William Reading, Teresa Reading.  Photo by Annie Mulligan
Dr. Noreen Mayberry at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala o
Dr. Noreen Mayberry. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Jano Nixon Kelley and Kathryn McNeil at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Jano Nixon Kennedy, Kathryn McNiel. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Alan and Elizabeth Dozier at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Alan Dozier, Elizabeth Dozier. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Jacqueline Altobelli at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Jacqueline Altobelli. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Guests play in a photo booth at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Guests post for a photo in the dramatic surroundings. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Cathy Cameron, Dr. Margo Melchor and John Hernandez at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Cathy Cameron, Dr. Margo Melcher, John Hernandez. Photo by Annie Mulligan
LaToya Williams greets guests at the surprise speakeasy during the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
LaToya Williams greets guest at the suprise speakeasy. Photo by Annie Mulligan
Countertenor John Holiday performs during the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Ars Lyrica Gala at Esperson Building
Matthew Dirst, Sixto Wagan, John Holiday, Robin Angly, Miles Smith, Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Vivek and Ishwaria Subbiah at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Farida Abjani, Liliana Ary and Connie Kwan-Wong at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Dr. Diana Collins, Al Gallo, William Reading and Teresa Reading at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Dr. Noreen Mayberry at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala o
Jano Nixon Kelley and Kathryn McNeil at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Alan and Elizabeth Dozier at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Jacqueline Altobelli at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Guests play in a photo booth at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
Cathy Cameron, Dr. Margo Melchor and John Hernandez at the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala
LaToya Williams greets guests at the surprise speakeasy during the Ars Lyrica "Roaring Twenties" Gala

What: Ars Lyrica Houston's Roaring Twenties Gala.

Where: Esperson Buildings.

The scoop: The historic 1920s skyscraper in downtown Houston was the perfect setting for a party with a Roaring Twenties theme. Guests, many dressed in period flapper attire, met for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and jazz entertainment in the Rusk Lobby, which connects the two Esperson Buildings, and took personalized tours guided by docents from Preservation Houston.

Then they gathered for a musical performance in the adjoining neo-classic Italian Renaissance Niels Espereson Lobby (that building was completed in 1941), featuring countertenor John Holiday, who brought down the house with arias from Handel's Xerses and a rendition of "Misty" in tribute to his grandmother, Ars Lyrica Houston artistic director Matthew Dirst at the harpsichord, violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock and viola da gambist Mary Springfels who performed a mix of music from the 1720s to the 1920s.

After dinner catered by Morton’s Steakhouse in the Art Deco Mellie Esperson Lobby, decorated with tall candelabras, exotic peacock feathers and flowers, guests used a secret password to enter the one-night-only Full Prohibition Bar at the Speakeasy Club, held in the recently opened Peli Deli, and partied the night away.

More than $50,000 was raised at the gala to support a 2018/19 Ars Lyrica production of Handel’s first operatic masterpiece, Agrippina. 

Who: Among those joining in the fun were the evening's honorees Robin Angly and Miles Smith, gala co-chairs Darrin Davis and Mario Gudmundsson, Connie Kwan-Wong, Farida Abjani, Kathryn McNiel, Perryn Leech, Gabriel and Sara Loperena, Drs. Rachel and Warren A. Ellsworth IV, Drs. Vivek and Ishwaria Subbiah, Dr. Noreen Mayberry, Sixto Wagan, Kathryn and Brendan Godfrey, Jano Nixon Kelley, Theresa and William Reading, Jo Dee and Clifford Wright, April Lykos, Dr. Diana Collins, and Al Gallo.

ADVERTISEMENT